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Miracles

Wonder and Meaning in World Religions

David L. Weddle

“In a pluralistic world, Weddle presents an engaging study of what millions of religious people in the world believe about miracles even while others do not. This comprehensive history of miracles for both believers and skeptics should appeal not only to academics but also to anyone interested in the enigmas of faith.”

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The Mosque

The Heart of Submission

Rusmir Mahmutcehajic

The Mosque is an extended meditation on a dimension of Islam unfamiliar to most Western readers. The mosque, Rusmir Mahmuticehajiic argues, is not an analogue of the Christian church, not least because in Islam there is no priesthood and no institutionalized hierarchy. Rather, every Muslim is his or her own priest, andmost religious obligations are performed in the home. The function of the mosque is thus dispersed throughout society and, indeed, throughout the natural world as well. The Arabic word from which English mosque derives means literally place of prostration-the place one performs the daily ritual prayer of submission to God, so as to become a guest at the table God has sent down to manifest himself. That table is also the world's mosque, the world as mosque. Among the many tragic victims of the Bosnian genocide are its mosques; more than a thousand were destroyed. A part of the essential fabric of Bosnian life was changed. With this book, Rusmir Mahmuticehajiic seeks to rebuild the spirit and majesty of each mosque that was destroyed, the spiritual grace it lent the Bosnian landscape.Beautifully composed, elegantly written and constructed, this is a primary text of Islamic spirituality, by one of the most significant Muslim European voices of our age . . . . A book to be returned to again and again.-Adam B. Seligman, Boston UniversityThis work by one of the leading intellectual figures of Bosnia is one of the finest written in the English language on the spiritual significance of the mosque. It speaks the language of universal spirituality and is able to open a door for Western readers to the relationship between the mosque, as understood outwardly, and the inner mosque, which is the heart. The book also reflects in most elegant language the reality of a land where mosques, churches, and synagogues have stood side by side over the centuries, each bearing witness in its own way to the Presence of the One.-Seyyed Hossein Nasr, George Washington University

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Mount Fuji

Icon of Japan

H. Byron Earhart

Illustrated with color and black-and-white images of the mountain and its associated religious practices, H. Byron Earhart's study utilizes his decades of fieldwork—including climbing Fuji with three pilgrimage groups—and his research into Japanese and Western sources to offer a comprehensive overview of the evolving imagery of Mount Fuji from ancient times to the present day. Included in the book is a link to his twenty-eight–minute streaming video documentary of Fuji pilgrimage and practice, Fuji: Sacred Mountain of Japan. Beginning with early reflections on the beauty and power associated with the mountain in medieval Japanese literature, Earhart examines how these qualities fostered spiritual practices such as Shugendo, which established rituals and a temple complex at the mountain as a portal to an ascetic otherworld. As a focus of worship, the mountain became a source of spiritual insight, rebirth, and prophecy through the practitioners Kakugyo and Jikigyo, whose teachings led to social movements such as Fujido (the way of Fuji) and to a variety of pilgrimage confraternities making images and replicas of the mountain for use in local rituals. Earhart shows how the seventeenth-century commodification of Mount Fuji inspired powerful interpretive renderings of the "peerless" mountain of Japan, such as those of the nineteenth-century print masters Hiroshige and Hokusai, which were largely responsible for creating the international reputation of Mount Fuji. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, images of Fuji served as an expression of a unique and superior Japanese culture. With its distinctive shape firmly embedded in Japanese culture but its ethical, ritual, and spiritual associations made malleable over time, Mount Fuji came to symbolize ultranationalistic ambitions in the 1930s and early 1940s, peacetime democracy as early as 1946, and a host of artistic, naturalistic, and commercial causes, even the exotic and erotic, in the decades since.

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Muslim Ethics and Modernity

A Comparative Study of the Ethical Thought of Sayyid Ahmad Khan and Mawlana Mawdudi

Sheila McDonough

A study of modern Muslim ethics, focussed upon the lives and writings of Sayyid Ahmad Khan and Mawlana Mawdudi, this monograph  sheds light upon the modern ethical problems of contemporary Islam. Sayyid Ahmad Khan, often called a liberal, a modernist, or an acculturationist, represents the "liberal" trend of Sunni Muslim ethics. Khan's approach borrows much from reason, yet for Khanreason and revelation are not in conflict. Reason guides the interpretation of Islam when revelation is insufficient. In contrast, Mawlana Mawdudi's fundamentalism is, at least in part, anti-rational; it depends upon revelation (as it comes to one man in particular) and is very autocratic. McDonough is concerned with Khan and Mawdudi, both writers within the Indo-Pakistan Muslim tradition. Their conflicting views, their differing interpretations of ethics that suit Islam in the contemporary world, exemplify the difficulties and turmoil faced by Muslims the world over. For these men, modernity has not spelled the end of Islam; yet each has found a different way of relating Islam to the present and the future in faithfulness to traditional Islam.


This monograph will be of interest to students of contemporary Islam, as well as to those interested in questions of comparative ethics, for the liberal/fundamentalist conflicts outlined in this monograph are analogous to manifestations of the same dichotomy in all world religions.

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Mythical Trickster Figures

Edited by William J. Hynes and William G. Doty

Mythical Trickster Figures, is the first substantial collection of essays about the trickster to appear since Radin's 1955 The Trickster. Contributions by leading scholars treat a wide range of manifestations of this mischievous character, ranging from the Coyote of the American Southwest to such African figures as Eshu-Elegba and Ananse, the Japanese Susa-no-o, the Greek Hermes, Christian adaptations of Saint Peter, and examples found in contemporary American fiction and drama. The many humorous trickster stories included are fascinating in themselves, but Hynes and Doty also highlight the wide range of features of the trickster--the figure whose comic appearance often signifies that the most serious cultural values are being both challenged and enforced. William J. Hynes is Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Religious Studies at Saint Mary's College of California. William G. Doty is Professor of Religious Studies at The University of Alabama and the author of Mythography: The Study of Myths and Rituals also published by The University of Alabama Press.

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Mythography

The Study of Myths and Rituals

This new edition of William Doty's critically acclaimed study provides a comprehensive guidebook to the many schools of interpretation in this burgeoning field. William Doty's popular text has been hailed as the most comprehensive work of its kind. Extensively rewritten and completely restructured, the new edition provides further depth and perspective and is even more accessible to students of myth. It includes expanded coverage of postmodern and poststructuralist perspectives, the Gernet Center, mythic iconography, neo-Jungian approaches, and cultural studies, and it summarizes what is new in the study of Greek myth, iconography, French classical scholarship, and ritual studies. It also features a comprehensive index of names and topics, a glossary, an up-to-date annotated bibliography, and a guide to myth on the Internet. Presenting all major myth theorists from antiquity to the present, Mythography is an encyclopedic work that offers a cross-disciplinary approach to the study of myth. By reflecting the dramatic increase in interest in myth among both scholars and general readers since publication of the first edition, it remains a key study of modern approaches to myth and an essential guide to the wealth of mythographic research available today. William G. Doty is Professor of Humanities and Religious Studies at The University of Alabama and editor of Mythosphere: A Journal for Image, Myth, and Symbol.

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On Our Way

The Final Passage through Life and Death

Robert Kastenbaum

How do our ideas about dying influence the way we live? Life has often been envisioned as a journey, the river of time carrying us inexorably toward the unknown country—and in our day we increasingly turn to myth and magic, ritual and virtual reality, cloning and cryostasis in the hope of eluding the reality of the inevitable end. In this book a preeminent and eminently wise writer on death and dying proposes a new way of understanding our last transition. A fresh exploration of the final passage through life and perhaps through death, his work deftly interweaves historical and contemporary experiences and reflections to demonstrate that we are always on our way.

Drawing on a remarkable range of observations—from psychology, anthropology, religion, biology, and personal experience—Robert Kastenbaum re-envisions life's forward-looking progress, from early-childhood bedtime rituals to the many small rehearsals we stage for our final separation. Along the way he illuminates such moments and ideas as becoming a "corpsed person," going down to earth or up in flames, respecting or abusing (and eating) the dead, coping with "too many dead," conceiving and achieving a "good death," undertaking the journey of the dead, and learning to live through the scrimmage of daily life fully knowing that Eternity does not really come in a designer flask. Profound, insightful, often moving, this look at death as many cultures await it or approach it enriches our understanding of life as a never-ending passage.

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On What Cannot Be Said

Apophatic Discourses in Philosophy, Religion, Literature, and the Arts. Volume 1. Classic Formulations

William P. Franke

Apophasis has become a major topic in the humanities, particularly in philosophy, religion, and literature. This monumental two-volume anthology gathers together most of the important historical works on apophaticism and illustrates the diverse trajectories of apophatic discourse in ancient, modern, and postmodern times. William Franke provides a major introductory essay on apophaticism at the beginning of each volume, and shorter introductions to each anthology selection. The first volume, Classic Formulations, offers excerpts from Plato, Plotinus, Damascius, the Bible, Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius, Maimonides, Rumi, Thomas Aquinas, Marguerite Porete, Dante, Teresa of Ávila, John of the Cross, and more.

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On What Cannot Be Said

Apophatic Discourses in Philosophy, Religion, Literature, and the Arts. Volume 2. Modern and Contemporary Transformations

William P. Franke

Apophasis has become a major topic in the humanities, particularly in philosophy, religion, and literature. This monumental two-volume anthology gathers together most of the important historical works on apophaticism and illustrates the diverse trajectories of apophatic discourse in ancient, modern, and postmodern times. William Franke provides a major introductory essay on apophaticism at the beginning of each volume, and shorter introductions to each anthology selection. The second volume, Modern and Contemporary Transformations, contains texts by Hölderlin, Schelling, Kierkegaard, Dickinson, Rilke, Kafka, Rosenzweig, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Weil, Schoenberg, Adorno, Beckett, Celan, Levinas, Derrida, Marion, and more.

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The Only True God

Early Christian Monotheism in Its Jewish Context

James F. McGrath

Monotheism, the idea that there is only one true God, is a powerful religious concept that was shaped by competing ideas and the problems they raised. Surveying New Testament writings and Jewish sources from before and after the rise of Christianity, James F. McGrath argues that even the most developed Christologies in the New Testament fit within the context of first century Jewish "monotheism." In doing so, he pinpoints more precisely when the parting of ways took place over the issue of God's oneness, and he explores philosophical ideas such as "creation out of nothing," which caused Jews and Christians to develop differing concepts and definitions about God.

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